Ooty the destination for CR4 ride of Royal Knights Motorcyle Club. Saturday 10th April 2010, 4:00am Debraj calls me by when am already awake and setting things in order. 4:30am we meet sharp @ Raheja Arcade and ride to Metro on Kanakapura Road. Unlike other rides that I have been with this time 5:15am start did not mean 6:15am start.
IndraDhanush @ Maddur was the breakfast point. Idlli’s + vada’s the usual breakfast. When we reached Mysore it was 9:45am and that was a pleasant surprise. But it did not last for long. Few bikes ran into problems. We rode we waited, we rode we waited. And managed to reach Pug Marks restaurant @ Bandipur quite late. Not very late to see empty plates. The cost of a buffet meal is quite high. (I never understand why if there are lot of customers, restaurants charge exorbitantly)
Through the forest we enter TamilNadu state border and Mudumalai forest. Mudumalai (TamilNadu), Bandipur (Karnataka) and Muthunga (Kerala) form a big forest area. We climb up and reach Masinagudi. After few kms starts the real ride. 36 hair-pin bends, steeper than 40 hair-pin bends (maximum in South India) to Valparai. At some bends the view was real amazing. Unfortunately being in a group I did not want to stop time and again to click photos. When solo I would have stopped at many places, clicked photo and left and at some sat for some time.
In these bends its difficult to get the vehicle up at 3rd gear and many times its required to be in 1st gear. And that leads to heating up. Some bikes had clutch plate issues, some brake.
Finally when we reached Hill Country Resort @ Lovedale it was 6:00pm. What a ride. Hill Country resort is a property of two brothers. Its high priced but a very good place for relaxation. 5kms away from Ooty towards Conoor is on a small village Lovedale.
It was time to freshen up after welcome tea and biscuits. 4 of us went to town to buy some stuff while others were getting ready. Then the party started with introduction of knights, cake cutting and bonfire with music and dance. Some of us continued having fun till midnight. It was time to feast on ice-cream. All dispersed and 4 of us sat through the entire night chatting and laughing. At 5:00 in the morning two of us decided to take a walk. Re-kindled the remains of bonfire to start it again with some left over papers. The heat helped in the chillness and watched the sunrise before we went to take some rest. Thanks to the 3 for giving me company thru the night.
When I woke up it was around 9:00am and after some lazing around managed to get up and head for breakfast. Not before a good shower. Breakfast was elaborate with idlli’s, vada’s. Two went to fix their bike while another bike had some other problems. With no solution in sight we left few and rest of the group headed back. With few stoppages I reached Bangalore at 10:15pm.
Was very different from past rides. More groupism was noticed which is good for the club. The best part about this club as compared to other clubs is that everyone waits even if one has some issues with the motorbike. The motto is quite simple, we ride together and we be together. There were lot of times that someones bike had an issue and everyone waited.
Not upto 100% in terms of group riding formation as there are new guys in every ride and its quite new for them. But group riding in this club has evolved over time. Somethings which I would always suggest is to use hand signals, look into rear-view mirror, never overtake from left. Am not perfect to comment a lot on this. One strong thing I would suggest is to do a proper service before a long ride especially when it is up the ghats. Riding on plains would not have impacted many bikes.